|Politics + Me = True Love
||[Feb. 21st, 2008|10:17 pm]
Anita Josefina Teresita Beatriz del Carmen
I watched the debate tonight even though I've already voted in the primary, and it was wonderful. Honestly, I sometimes think political news like this is as good or better than some of my favorite shows. I watched the whole thing with great interest, minus a brief period where I had to find a new TV since they were making cupcakes or some nonsense in the lounge I was in. (Why don't they broadcast these things on regular TV? It's so WONDERFUL!) (Alternative complaint: Why don't I have cable in my dorm room?)
But anyway, I watched with great interest, like I said, and I took notes again. Okay, so I'm a total geek, but I really just love it and want to share my observations with someone. So, once again, in bullet form (but a little meatier, I think):
- I forgot to mention last time that Barack Obama is left-handed. I noticed him taking notes with his left and I think it's an interesting random fact. Have we ever had a left-handed president? (According to this, yes, we've had quite a few, in fact.)
- The press frequently hails Clinton as the "better" debater, and tonight I actually could see why. I don't think she's more "right" or has better positions, but she knows how to work the debate format. She tailors her sentences to elicit applause and knows how to manipulate her pitch and rate and general voice to fit it. Obama, on the other hand, acts as if the applause is almost a nuisance. Sometimes when they'd clap, he's kinda make a face or gesture like, "Shhh, let me finish." Honestly, I personally hate all the clapping at political things, but Obama should recognize its role and play to it a little more. You can tell he's an orator and wants more elegance in his speech than little sound bites, but it's not as big an advantage in debates.
- I think one of Obama's greatest weaknesses has been his stance on healthcare. I actually LOVE his plan and find it superior to Clinton's, but I don't think that he's managed to convey the true intention of his plan. I think he got closer to saying what he means tonight. Clinton's big criticism is that Obama leaves "15 million uninsured," but I think he managed to at least make inroads into convincing people that these 15 million are the ones who don't WANT healthcare. Anyone who does want it will be covered under his plan. The pundits don't seem to think that he will ever be able to show this point, but I think he's at least doing a better job.
- There was a really interesting exchange about English vs Spanish in the US. Neither wants to make English official, and they both support second language learning, but they express it differently. Clinton said something like, "I encourage people to do what I have never been able to do, learn a second language." Why hasn't she been able to? She said it like learning Spanish was this big impossible thing that she tried but couldn't do, but basically she just never put in the time. Obama, to be fair, doesn't know a second language, as far as I know, but I liked his response better. He mentioned that NCLB has led to a decrease in foreign language funding, and as part of a reform, he'd want to require every student to learn a second language. To me, this shows his global view; he can see how important communication across languages really is. Of course, as a Spanish major, I'm a little biased on this point.
- CNN's "Dial Polls" seem to show that voters respond well to Bush-bashing, but it really irks me. What is even worse, in my opinion, is the way Clinton put Bush down several times, but then used his words to show how her healthcare plan is superior to Obama's. If he is so terrible the rest of the time, why is his opinion important here?
- I've noticed in the debate (and in other public speeches) that Obama seems to be saying things like, "I'm running for president because..." I wonder if this is a deliberate tactic by his campaign or just something I am noticing more. Maybe he's trying to get himself more associated with the word "president."